Third party access to underground natural gas storage in France is governed by the energy code, amended by article 12 of the Law 2017-1839 of 30 December 2017.
The regulatory framework is based on the following principles:
- the underground gas storage facilities considered as necessary to security of supply are covered by the “programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie” (multiannual program for energy)
- operators of these essential facilities are required to keep them in good working order and to offer third party access under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions;
- storage capacities of these essential facilities are offered through open auctions according to terms and conditions set by the “Commission de régulation de l’énergie” (CRE, the French energy regulator);
- CRE regulates the operators of these essential facilities by determining their revenues in order to cover the costs they incur to operate these essential facilities;
- in case the auction incomes do not cover the costs incurred by the operators to run these essential facilities, full recovery is ensured by the natural gas transmission network tariff.
In accordance with its legal obligations, Teréga publishes on its website the access conditions to its storage capacities, including:
- available storage capacities;
- marketed storage products;
- storage capacities sales schedule;
- open auctions arrangements.
Storage bookings statements are sent on to the “Direction générale de l’énergie et du climat” (the French Ministry of Energy) and to CRE who act as the guarantors of transparency and non-discrimination of third party access conditions to underground gas storage.